Are you getting ready to flip a house? If so, it’s important to make sure the outside looks as good as the inside.
After all, no one wants it to look like a neglected eyesore or it will scare away any potential buyers. And yet, you have to strike a perfect balance because you don’t want to spend too much time or money on it either.
In the house flipping industry, time is money—the longer you spend remodeling the property, the less profit you earn. Landscaping tends to eat up a ton of time and effort, which means that if you’re investing in long-term lawn care, you’re not flipping fast enough.
On average, flippers spend between 5 and 10% of their budget on landscaping. This may not seem like much but you’d be surprised at how much value this brings. In fact, studies have shown that sprucing up the lawn can increase the home’s value by as much as20%.
That’s a lot of additional profit for each flip. But this isn’t the only reason why you should invest in landscaping. Keep in mind that construction work to renovate other parts of the property will likely mess up the yard, so much so that you might need to redo the entire lawn.
So, let’s take a closer look at how you can effectively spruce up the lawn without going over budget.
How to Spruce Up the Lawn Without Breaking the Bank
No flipper wants to dedicate a huge swath of their budget to landscaping. So, here are a few cost-effective tips for you to improve the lawn without going over budget. The goal is to ensure that the home will attract potential buyers—notably, the target market that you want to reach.
1. Remember Your Audience
Before going crazy with your landscaping to-do list… first, consider what your target buyers will want. For example, if you’re hoping to sell to an older group of people, then perhaps it would be better to not have a lawn at all since they may not want to regularly maintain it. Young professionals, however, would likely opt for a patio or outdoor deck to entertain their friends, rather than a high-maintenance yard.
But if you’re targeting families, then feel free to go level up the landscaping. Chances are, these buyers are prioritizing wide open spaces for their kids and pets to play in. In fact, not having a poorly-maintained lawn may turn them off from seriously considering your property.
Apart from your target buyers, also consider what real estate class the neighborhood, tenant pool, and property belong to. For instance, it won’t make sense to create a beautifully-landscaped lawn for a Class C home since an expensive feature to maintain would be the last thing its tenants want.
2. Make the Grass Greener
A well-manicured lawn and tidy garden can go a long way in boosting your property’s curb appeal. The grass, in particular, has the most visual impact on guests when they first see the house.
Simply adding either fertilizer or grass seeds can go a long way. In fact, do this the minute you start on the flipping project. That way, the grass will already be fuller, healthier, and much greener by the time you’re finished and ready to sell.
As tempting as it is to constantly mow the lawn, it actually puts stress on the grass, especially if you trim off more than 20% at once. So check the cutting height of your lawn mower before turning it on and going to town with it, and ensure that you’re not mowing the grass too often.
This shouldn’t stop you from regularly pulling out the weeds, though. After all, who wants to see an overgrown lawn?
3. Edge the Lawn
If you want the lawn to appear tidier to potential home buyers, use an edger to trim the grass along its perimeter. Doing this creates a crisp and neat border that will make your property look cleaner and more professional, undoubtedly increasing its curb value.
Edging can also highlight landscaping design elements, which is important if you want to draw a buyer’s attention to a particular area of the lawn. It also prevents weeds and turf grass from growing into flower beds, so you no longer have to worry about the aesthetic appeal of your blooms.
4. Don’t Forget the Grass Clippings
For many, grass clippings are sent straight to the garbage can. But for flippers, they’re heaven-sent. Rather than bagging them after mowing the lawn, leave them where they are. Since they’re small and comprised of mostly water, it won’t take them long to break down and fertilize your garden.
However, make sure to clean up the grass clippings from your driveway, the sidewalk, and the other hard surfaces surrounding your lawn.
5. Invest in Lawn Repair Mix
You can easily fix bare patches on the lawn with a lawn repair mix, which typically consists of compost, fertilizer, and grass seedlings.
For better results, remove the dead grass and loosen the soil until at least three inches below the ground. This will give the lawn repair mix enough space to grow. Take care not to overwater this spot to prevent the seeds from scattering.
Sprucing Up the Lawn Won’t Break Your Budget
As always, the goal is to create a lawn that fits the criteria for selling that particular property to a particular target market. You don’t want to spend too much time, effort, and energy on a project that won’t pay off. In all flips, the faster you sell it, the more money you’ll get to keep, so make sure that your remodeled lawn will help you earn the profits you want.
In this article, we proved that landscaping projects aren’t as scary, expensive, or as time-consuming as you think they might be. With just a few easy fixes, you can increase your flipping profits without spending too much time and effort beautifying someone else’s lawn.
For more house-flipping tips, reach out to our team of experts at Logical Property Management. We’ve been serving the Metro Detroit real estate market for more than two decades now, and have everything you need to succeed in the area.
As the popular saying goes—” before you sell anything, you first have to sell yourself.” This statement holds true even In the house-flipping business.
Although flipping mainly deals with selling properties, don’t forget that you also have to deal with flippers, real estate agents, buyers, sellers, and other counterparts in the real estate industry. Because of this, in order to do good business and close flipping sales, you’ll first have to market yourself to establish business relations.
Why Market Yourself?
Apart from wondering how to market yourself using the SWOT analysis, you might be wondering why marketing yourself is even necessary.
To help you answer this question, we’ll ask you another question—as an investor, would you put money in an investment you’re not convinced will grow? You probably answered no. The same goes for lenders, investors, and other business prospects in the real estate industry. Before they shell out any money and do work with you, they first need to convince you’re worth the investment.
And how do you market yourself? By showing what you can bring to the table as a house flipper and why your house-flipping empire will be a success. And that is exactly what your SWOT analysis can do.
What is a SWOT Analysis?
The acronym SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. The information in its subsections shows your capabilities and how you work as a house flipper in relation to competitors and your place of business.
Through your SWOT analysis, you can be accurately assessed. In effect, this will help lenders, investors, and other prospective business associates determine whether they want to work with you.
Take a look at this generic SWOT analysis to help you form an idea of how it works:
Chances are this is the first you’re hearing of a SWOT analysis since it’s not often used in real estate businesses like house flipping. However, its lack of commonplace use shouldn’t diminish its value.
Remember that house flipping is a business and the SWOT analysis plays an integral role in any business plan.
To help you grasp how you can leverage a SWOT analysis, here are three things you need to take into account: you or your company, your competition, and external factors. Think of you and your competition as the players, the external factors and the place as the stage, and house flipping as the game.
The more knowledge you have of the game, the better you can play it.
Here’s a chart that shows a SWOT analysis tailored for a house-flipping business plan:
Now that you have a general idea of the SWOT analysis’ role in a house flipping business plan, let’s dive in deeper and go through each subsection in detail. As we break down the 4 subsections, we’ll also tackle how you can leverage these to market yourself and your company.
Your Flipping Strengths
What advantage do you have going into the house-flipping business? Are you starting off with capital or partnering up with someone who already has experience? List down what you and those you work with can leverage and explain why these are valuable.
Here’s a list of questions to get started:
What is your competitive advantage (against other flippers in the area)?
What resources do you have that you can take advantage of?
What part of your flipping business is performing well above average?
For instance, starting out with capital means you don’t have to worry about securing loans or partnering with investors. Having your own finances to pull from lets you move more independently without relying on third parties for funding.
Showing your strengths is the most persuasive point of a SWOT analysis and is the main determiner of whether people want what you can provide. Your strengths also set what’s expected of you as a house flipper, so be careful not to under or over-sell yourself and highlight your strengths honestly.
Your Flipping Weaknesses
Where do you fall short in the house-flipping business? As important as it is to acknowledge your strengths, it’s equally important to acknowledge your weaknesses. If you’re partnering up or working under someone, this is where they’ll form accurate expectations of you.
For instance, if your network consists of young individuals, your flips will likely be within the city near office buildings. In this situation, you’re likely more familiar with flipping small houses for one or two people. A weakness here can be having no properties outside of the city or a lack of experience dealing with larger houses.
These are some questions you can ask yourself:
Where in your flipping business can you improve?
What part of your business is underperforming?
Where are you lacking in resources?
Identifying your weaknesses also lets you identify areas of improvement so you can actively work on becoming a better house flipper. Although weaknesses show your limitations, this can also work in your favor when doing business with others.
As strengths set what they can expect from you, weaknesses show what they can’t. By considering both your strengths and weaknesses you can be more accurately assessed as a house flipper.
Your Flipping Opportunities
These are external factors that work in your favor. Ask yourself: Which market can you tap into? What are people looking for? Which factors can help me close more deals?
When you identify the opportunities available in your area of business, you can gauge which house flip projects can turn a profit and increase the chances of a return on your investment.
On average, Americans start a family in their mid to late 20s.
Given these statistics, there is an opportunity for flipping houses that cater to young, new families, which is where your business is focused on.
If you’re still not sure where your opportunities are, here are some questions to get the ball rolling:
What new markets can your business explore?
What other investment routes can your business potentially consider?
What technology can you use to improve your operations?
How else can you expand your core operations?
By narrowing in on house flips with more profitability, you also increase the confidence of prospective business partners, lenders, and investors to work with you.
Your Flipping Threats
On the other hand, threats are external factors that set limits to your house flips. These external factors are often beyond your control, such as the local weather or building policies.
For example, Michigan experiences winters with temperatures as low as 18°F, so you might run into homes that require more winter-proofing, like replacing HVAC systems or adding more insulation. Threats like these can be laborious, requiring you to assess properties with more care.
These are the questions you’d want to ask yourself:
What local and state regulations threaten your operations?
In what ways are your competitors doing better than you?
What are the market shifts and trends that threaten your business?
Moreover, identifying your threats is essentially stating the factors that you can’t be held accountable for, so you can be assessed fairly.
For instance, if you’re being assessed based on a past project that experienced weather-related delays, that shouldn’t reflect badly on your work ethic as a house flipper. You can also think of your flipping threats as a kind of disclaimer.
Is the SWOT Analysis Worth it?
Challenges and growing pains are inevitable when you’re starting a house-flipping business. But remember that you have the power to make the journey easier with a SWOT analysis.
The insight you’ll get from conducting the analysis then becomes your handy cheat sheet. You can now enter the house flipping game with substantial knowledge, fully knowing how other players are doing on the stage, and exactly how you’ll give your business a leg up.
As always, remember to take your time conducting a SWOT analysis with careful consideration. It plays a major role in your house-flipping business plan, so let’s not get too hasty with it.
Be a House Flipper Worth Working With
A house-flipping business plan that comprehensively addresses all possible queries will leave no room for doubt that you will succeed as a house flipper.
This is your chance to lay down the foundation you need to build your house-flipping empire. Use the SWOT analysis as a marketing tool to show others that you’re prepared, knowledgeable, and set up for success—perfect for doing business in the long run.
This is the final installment of our 3-part house flipping business plan series. If you haven’t checked out the two previous installments, you can find these on the links above.
What other real estate business plans do you want us to discuss? Let us know in the comments below! And should you have more concerns, get in touch with us today.
If you only want to buy a single house to fix and flip as they do on TV shows, do you really need a full-blown business plan? Well, yes! You certainly need one if you want to succeed in the game.
Even if you’re just flipping one house, going in unprepared and without a plan is setting yourself up for trouble. You can go over budget, waste time due to lack of scheduling, and sabotage your house flip.
Instead, go through this Build Your Flipping Empire series to learn how to make a flipping business plan before you jump in with both feet. Doing so, you’ll complete your investment on time and on budget, making a hefty profit that you can roll over into your next project.
In other words, you’ll carve out a path that’ll lead you to long-term success in house flipping.
The executive summary is a synopsis of your entire business plan and serves as the first impression. Remember that potential lenders, financiers, and other business prospects will often only read the executive summary, so ensure that it provides a concise and comprehensive overview of your plan.
You should also include your mission statement here to show your goals and values as a house flipper. For example, if you value family-friendly, move-in-ready house flip projects, your mission statement can say, “Our mission is to grow our house flipping empire one property at a time by turning distressed properties into profitable ones for aspiring young families.”
2. Management Team
A good business plan also has your contacts in place and responsibilities assigned. From the contractors to the real estate agent, list all of them down with detailed roles, qualifications, and experience in house flipping projects.
Here’s an example of what this section will look like:
My team is composed of professionals equipped with the necessary skill sets and work experience to get the job done with quality and efficiency.
General Contractor: John Smith
For over 20 years, Smith and his team of subcontractors (plumbers, electricians, painters, roofers, etc.) have fixed homes all around the City of Detroit. Regarded for his quick and skillful work, Smith has earned the trust of two generations of Detroit residents.
Real Estate Agent: Jane Doe
Doe is an exceptional licensed real estate agent specializing in wholesale and house flipping deals. In her 17 years in the industry, she closes a whopping 4-6 deals per quarter, averaging 20 per year.
Bookkeeper: Jody Miller
Alumni of the University of Michigan, Miller graduated with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. Her financial skills can effectively expense accounted for and within budget, helping our team generate the highest flipping profits.
If you’re new to house flipping and don’t have a lot of connections yet, then take this as an opportunity to build your team. You don’t want to waste time gathering people once a flipping project starts, as having the best people around will contribute to the stability of your operations.
3. Goals & Objectives
Think about what your ultimate goal is for the house-flipping business. Do you just want to flip 1 house a year? Or do you want to build a nationwide flipping empire to quit your day job? Remember to make your goals actionable, measurable, and realistic based on your available resources.
Here’s an example:
Our goal is to be one of the leading house-flipping empires in Michigan. Starting from the City of Detroit, we’ll grow our portfolio by expanding to neighboring cities until we have projects all around the state.
One by one, we will purchase distressed properties, and flip them into quality homes, all the while turning a profit to fund future projects as we continually grow our house-flipping empire. Our ultimate objective is to flip unloved properties into family homes.
Pro tip: Break down long-term goals into short-term ones so they’re easier to achieve and clearly mark the journey towards achieving the overall business objective.
4. Market Analysis
Knowing the real estate market in detail can help you make informed decisions moving forward. The market analysis provides insights to assess whether your business plans are likely to succeed or need some tweaking, all in relation to the competition.
Additionally, your market analysis will show prospective lenders, investors, and business partners your market knowledge and how you plan to use that for your financial plans and gain.
Here’s a list of questions to guide your market analysis:
Is the neighborhood gaining real estate popularity?
Is the property type you’re flipping in demand?
Is there a large pool of potential buyers?
What are the local crime rates?
How far is my prospective property from the necessary facilities?
What are my weaknesses against the competition?
What are my strengths against the competition?
Let’s use some data from 2021 to have a quick look at how a market analysis can go:
Recent statistics show a rise in flipping activity in Michigan. For example, in two Wayne County zip codes alone, 25% of all real estate sales were house flips, and Redford saw a 99.9% increase in house flipping in the first quarter of 2021—doubling the rates of the previous quarter.
Given the statistics, you can see these parts of Michigan are highly saturated and competitive. We can infer that pricing gets more competitive, with margins between buying distressed property and selling a flipped house getting smaller.
Although some cities in Michigan are highly competitive with advanced house flippers, there is still an abundance of opportunities state-wide for novices. Strategically, we can start in less competitive areas until we progress to more advanced markets.
The market is always shifting, however, so ensure that you constantly update your plan. After all, a great business plan is one that remains relevant and can guide you even in the later stages of your empire.
A market analysis is an opportunity for you to learn more about the house-flipping business. Another focal point of this section is getting to know the competition—how competitive is the market? What makes them competitive? Are there certain competitors to look out for?
“SWOT” stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Your SWOT analysis lets you gauge how you compare to the competition, identifying your relative performance in the market.
Let’s break down each letter and see what you should put within each section:
Referring to the infographic above, the guide questions show you what’s being asked for under each section. After the guide questions, the bullet points show sample information of what you input.
The SWOT analysis examines 3 factors: you, your competition, and the external factors of the area you plan to do business in. By having comprehensive knowledge of these factors, you can work smarter, and in turn, maximize your profits.
We’ve only scratched the surface of what goes in this section of a house-flipping business plan. If you want to take a deeper dive into the SWOT analysis, we’ll go into this in part 3 of the series!
6. Lead Generation & Marketing Strategies
Next, determine the best ways you can generate leads and market your business. We understand that this can be a challenge in the house flipping business, but try out these methods to get started:
Leverage Networking: Helping other real estate investors is a great way to keep your deals flowing. Pooling together resources can help you establish mutually beneficial relationships with other flippers and other real estate investors. Even if you have to split the profits, networking gives you consistent work while building your empire.
Drive for Dollars: There are many leads out there that can offer you profitable deals, and it’s just a matter of driving around and finding signs like “for rent” or “for sale.” These signs often have contact details of the assigned real estate agent or seller listed, where you can make direct calls to ask about possible deals. It’s also a great opportunity for you to build your network of agents.
Real Estate Agents: If you’re looking for a helping hand that has substantial knowledge of the real estate market, a real estate agent is your best bet. They can help you find leads, teach you the tricks of the trade, and get word of your house flips out in the market. Since these relationships are mutually beneficial, they can even become a long-term business partner.
These are just some lead generation and marketing strategies we found will be the most helpful for your house flipping projects, but you can use a mix of different strategies for more results. Remember to list down and define which ones you plan on using in your house-flipping business plan.
7. Finance Plans & Projections
You can’t do any business if your finances aren’t in order. So, will you be financing your house flip projects out of your own pocket or will you seek the aid of a lender? Because if you need funding, then it’s paramount that you earn their trust.
So, here’s what you need to include in this section:
Documents: Prepare all the necessary documents that show you’re financially able and responsible. You can include income statements, cash flow statements, and balance sheets.
Earnings: Tackle how much you expect to earn and how you will allocate your earnings. If you expect to earn $50,000 per deal? $75,000? Will you allocate 80% for future project funds? Will you keep 20% or less for yourself?
Budgeting: Although each project will come with its own set of repairs and touch-ups, it’s always good to have a standard budget as a guideline. You can list them out as percentages, so you show how you’ll stick to a budget and avoid over-improving properties to protect your profits.
Projections: Go over your business projections. Where do you see yourself months from now? What about 3 years after? Your projection should cover the next 2-5 years to give a clear picture.
Remember: One of the main reasons for making a business plan is to use it for getting approval on loans. So make it awfully clear how financially viable your flipping business is to earn others’ confidence.
8. Growth Strategy
We understand that it’s hard to think far into the future when you’re still getting your business off the ground. However, setting goals can keep you in line while showing future lenders, investors, and potential business partners that you are dedicated to building your house-flipping empire.
Here are a few examples:
Invest in Single-Family Homes: Single-family homes are a commodity that most types of buyers consider, so the pool of prospective buyers is larger. Opting for these kinds of properties increases your chances of closing a deal while lessening the effort you put out to gather leads and market the property.
Diversify your Real Estate Portfolio: Although house flipping is the main priority in building a house flipping empire, that doesn’t mean you can’t add other real estate ventures to your portfolio like wholesaling real estate, as it also starts with distressed properties.
Plus, if a flip looks like it’s going to flop, an exit strategy and an alternate venture you can consider are property rentals. In a nutshell, it’s all about diversifying the investments in your portfolio to secure growth.
Growing Your Capital Faster: Another way of looking at “growth” is looking for opportunities that can grow your financial capital quicker. By choosing and making the right investments early on, you’re on the fast lane to having more financial freedom, and in turn, the liberty to take on higher risks and higher reward projects.
There are more ways to ensure that your flipping empire grows. You can conduct more research to see what else you can do (and include in your business plan) so your vision is both short- and long-term.
9. Exit Strategy
Considering that your house flip project can flop when you’re just starting out can be discouraging, but having an exit strategy can be a lifeline to saving your investment. Rather than looking at it as a backup plan for failure, see your exit strategy as a “Plan B” for you to turn a profit—whatever happens.
So, identify alternative ways where you can get a return on your investment. Here are some you can consider for your house flipping business plan:
Slash Your Price: Lower your price if you’re pressed for time. If your flip seems like it’s going to flop, lowering your price can effectively heat up the market again. Even if it’s not as high as you expected, you can still walk away with some financial gain.
Tap a Different Market: If your house flip isn’t picking up in the buyers’ market, tapping into a different market can be a viable option. Long-term rental can present itself as another business venture and a form of passive income.
Rent It Out: With a property flipped and ready for residency, an alternative to closing a sale can be renting it out. Apart from being an alternative way of getting a return on your investment, you can add rental properties to your portfolio. Having different avenues of income also helps with gaining the financial stability you need to grow your house flipping empire.
Your exit strategy should be the next most financially sound option that aligns with your circumstances, so evaluate your situation carefully before taking any action.
A Foolproof Plan for Flipping Success
Learning more about the business, strategizing growth plans, and planning exit strategies can provide you with the direction you need to move forward with your goals.
Apart from serving as your guide, your house-flipping business plan will also provide comprehensive information on all areas of your business for new investors, lenders, potential business partners, and other people might do business with.
Business plans aren’t just for you, but also for those who will work with you.
With all your bases covered, you are clear and confident in what you want to achieve and how you plan on achieving it. You’ll be well on your way towards creating a house-flipping business that won’t turn into an expensive, capital-depleting flop.
This is the second installment of our series on house-flipping businesses, so stay tuned for our last installment! And if you have any questions or specific topics you want to learn, let us know by dropping a comment below or getting directly in touch with our team.